The possibilities for interactions between toxicants and ocean acidification are reviewed from two angles. First, it is considered how toxicant responses may affect ocean acidification by influencing the carbon dioxide balance. Second, it is introduced, how the possible changes in environmental conditions (temperature, pH and oxygenation), expected to be associated with climate change and ocean acidification, may interact with the toxicant responses of organisms, especially fish. One significant weakness in available data is that toxicological research has seldom been connected with ecological and physiological/biochemical research evaluating the responses of organisms to temperature, pH or oxygenation changes occurring in the natural environment. As a result, although there are significant potential interactions between toxicants and natural environmental responses pertaining to climate change and ocean acidification, it is very poorly known if such interactions actually occur, and can be behind the observed disturbances in the function and distribution of organisms in our seas.
Nikinmaa, M., in press. Climate change and ocean acidification – interactions with aquatic toxicology. Aquatic Toxicology. Article (subscription required).